This is what happens to your skin when you don't wear sunscreen.


Unless you’ve been living in parallel universe where ‘Slip Slop Slap’ campaigns don’t exist, you should be aware that prolonged time in the sun isn’t great for your skin.

But what you probably don’t realise – unless you have UV vision (in which case: awesome!) – is that sun damage can run much deeper than freckles, burns and peeling.

US artist Thomas Leveritt has provided a rather scary insight into the sun’s unseen effects on the skin with his video project ‘How the sun sees you’. Leveritt set up a UV camera on the street and asked strangers to examine their face in it, while filming their reactions.

Watch this:

At first glance, the volunteers all appear to have fairly healthy skin – but the UV light tells a very different story. Most of them gasp as they see their faces, which are almost unrecognisable due to the abundance of lines, freckles and other marks that aren’t visible in natural light.

The video also proves what we already knew about the skin of babies: it’s absolutely, beautifully flawless. A number of kids, and some clearly sun-conscious adults, display absolutely no skin damage under the light.

Even more interesting is what happens when the participants are asked to apply sunscreen. Because it blocks UV rays, the white lotion looks like tar under the UV light – which is equal parts cool and a little bit sci-fi.

The takeaway from this video is a screamingly simple one, and will have your mum smiling to herself as she whispers “I told you so”: avoid the sun when it’s at its strongest; get acquainted with the shade; invest in a hat; and for the love of beautiful, wrinkle-free skin, wear sunscreen.

This article originally appeared on The Glow. Check them out for all things health and beauty.